Susan here, reporting a record-breaking weekend followed by a busy week at SanibelSusan Realty. Before those details, here are a few photos taken after I left the office last night. With no rain for several days, water and waterways surrounding the island are clear. These pictures in order include:
- Tarpon Bay taken from next to SCCF’s Marine Lab and Tarpon Bay Explorers
- Turner Beach looking toward the bridge to Sanibel and to the gulf
- Roosevelt Channel to Pine Island Sound, taken from behind the Green Flash restaurant.
A combination of circumstances kept the SanibelSusan Team hoppin’ with three new sales, including the two properties we just listed last week. Sometimes when a new listing hits Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are buyers waiting for a property like that. Often their Realtor also is watching new inventory for them.
There usually is a jump in interest too whenever an asking price is reduced under the next $100K mark. With most internet search engines having drop-down menus in those increments, once a price is reduced, the listing gets noticed by prospective buyers who may have not considered the property before because the price was out of their budget range.
Sellers sometimes think that their first offer is too soon. But, even in multiple offer situations, it usually makes sense to see the first offer through to the end. Statistics show that the 1st offer often is the best offer. It also is important to recognize that sometimes there are terms as important as the price, like when the closing will occur, how serious the deposit is, Seller repair requirements, and what “outs” the contract has for the Buyer.
Getting a buyer to sign on the dotted line and negotiating the sale are just the first steps in getting a property sold. Working through contract contingencies often may be more challenging. Those may be things like the inspection/cancellation period in the “as is” contract. During that window, a buyer may view the property for the first time, have inspections, do due diligence on costs (like insurance, utilities, repairs), investigate making changes to the property (like adding a pool), or even change their mind.
The team tracks post-contract action items to ensure that they are successfully completed on time – things like escrow deposits, financing applications, applications to homeowners and condo associations, estoppel letter payments, appraisals, loan commitments, utility and service provider changes, etc.
The last seven days also brought us an unexpected and unusual number of hiccups with properties already under contract. I don’t know if that is what makes this business fun, but it certainly makes it interesting – ever changing – and reminds us that flexibility can be as crucial as follow-through.
The action posted since last Friday in the islands’ MLS is posted after a few news items below. We sure hope that this spurt of activity for us is an indication of what “season” will be like this year, but honestly, I think we just got lucky – and we are very thankful for it.
Sanibel’s Tax Rate Adopted – Lowest in Six Years!
Sanibel City Council recently took less than eight minutes to officially adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. Approved and discussed at earlier budget hearings, the rolled back operating millage rate of 1.8922 mills is the lowest tax rate in the last six years. (A mill is $1 per every $1,000 of taxable valuation. The rolled back rate is the same rate it would take to generate the same amount of revenue in the coming fiscal year as was generated in the previous year.) The budget for the upcoming year is $73,266,546.
Mayor Ruane also noted that the millage rate is down 25% from its historical peak. Ruane explained that during the recession in 2007, the City’s total debt was high, and there were little reserves. In comparison, now, 12 years later, taxes are lower, reserves are replenished, the City has minimal debt that continues to drop off, and funds are available to allocate to large-scale projects like the Donax wastewater project.
Noteworthy from the budget is that Sanibel has received approximately $3.3 million of the $3.9 million expected from FEMA and the State of Florida for reimbursement of Hurricane Irma expenditures. If there are additional disaster needs through the end of hurricane season, the City has secured a $5 million line to use for immediate expenditures.
New Website – Sanibel Fire & Rescue District
In compliance with State mandates, Sanibel Fire & Rescue District recently launched its new website at www.SanibelFire.com. It includes meeting dates, agenda, minutes, etc.
Island “Season” Begins & With Annual Events
- San-Cap Motor Club – The first Cars & Coffee Cruise-in of the season begins this week. Saturday, Oct 5 at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center from 9 to 11 a.m. with a lineup of classics, muscle cars, antiques, hot rods, and other vehicles on display. The Club usually holds this event the first Saturday of each month through season.
- Sanibel Farmers Market – begins this week. See you there Sunday, Oct 6, on the grounds of City Hall (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Be sure and bring your recyclable bag – or buy one there. The market is both straw and plastic bag free! More info at www.BuyLocalLee.com
- BIG ARTS Community Chorus – fall schedule runs from Oct 15 to Dec 9. While the new BIG ARTS building is under construction, chorus meets Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Strauss Theater. Join SanibelSusan who’s been with the group since it began in the early 90’s. No auditions are required, all ages and abilities welcome. Fall performances include: Sunday, Nov 24 at Community Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House; Friday, Dec 6 at Center-4-Life Luncheon at the Sanibel Rec Center; Friday, Dec 6 at Bailey’s Shopping Center for Luminary caroling; Tuesday, Dec 10 Holiday Concert. The spring schedule runs from Jan 7 to Mar 31, with rehearsals beginning Jan 28 at the new Performance Hall. Spring performances include: Saturday, Jan 25 at BIG ARTS Gala showcasing the new building and performance hall; Wednesday, Feb 19 at Annual FISH Luncheon at The Community House; Thursday, Mar 19 at Center-4-Life Dinner at The Sanibel Rec Center; Wednesday & Thursday, Apr 1 & 2 Spring Concerts at new BIG ARTS Performance Hall.
- Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser – Friday, Oct 27, 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café patio. Includes pet costume contest and fundraiser to benefit Flying Fur Animal Rescue. $10 donation includes beer, wine, and yappitizers.
- 38th Annual Taste of the Islands – CROW’s annual fundraiser featuring local island restaurants is Sunday, Nov 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving sick, injured, and orphaned native and migratory wildlife. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education, and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and animals through wildlife medicine. For more info, or to plan your visit, go to http://crowclinic.org . If you find an animal needing help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.
- SCCF’s Wine in the Wild – Friday, Nov 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Bailey Homestead Preserve. Usually a sell-out, tickets will NOT be available at the door. Five food stations will be set up each featuring a dish from one of Sanibel’s finest kitchens – Catering by Leslie Adams, Cielo, Malia, Sanibel Catering Company, and Sweet Melissa’s Café. Each will be paired with a wine. Dessert buffet by Normal Love confections, followed by live auction. Reservations through Linda Uhler at 239-472-3817.
Upcoming at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
- Every Kid Outdoors Program – The U.S. Department of Interior recently extended the Every Kid Outdoors Program (formerly Every Kid in a Park) for another seven years. The program grants fourth-grade students a free annual pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas – including J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge — with their families, classmates, and friends. To obtain the free pass, fourth-grade students visit www.everykidoutdoors.gov , participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple uses between Sep 1, 2019, and Aug 31, 2020, to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a keepsake pass at “Ding” Darling or other participating federal lands. The voucher or pass allows free entry for fourth graders, all children under age 16 in the group, and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in public lands like “Ding”) to most federally managed lands and waters. The pass does not cover amenity fees such as kayak rentals or boat rides.
- ‘Ding’ Day Combines Art with Family Fun – Two-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Scot Storm will travel from Minnesota to headline the “Ding” Darling Day Duck Stamp Presentation on Sunday, Oct 20, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. He will sign stamps following his presentation. Florida Junior Duck Stamp winner Anna Grace Swanson from Titusville will also be on hand to meet and greet. “This year, we have folded Conservation Art Day together with ‘Ding’ Darling Day Family Fun Day,” said Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. Go to www.dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/ding-darling-days for a full schedule of activities.
- Merit Badge University – On Oct 26, the Refuge will host its second annual Merit Badge University for registered Boy Scouts of America. Support for the program comes from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, LCEC, and Tarpon Bay Explorers, the Refuge’s recreation concession. Scouts from around the nation will have the opportunity to earn up to two out of six badges being offered that day. They include Bird Study, Photography, Cycling, Kayaking, Fishing, and Fly Fishing. Class sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 27 – October 4, 2019
2 new listings: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $459K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 $559K.
5 price changes: Sundial #A306 2/2 now $729,999; Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-1 2/2.5 now $754.5K; Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $778K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3B 3/2.5 now $850K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $889K.
3 new sales Breakers West #A5 2/2 listed at $499.9K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 listed at $739K. Pine Cove #201 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing, view below).
1 closed sale: Sundial #I103 1/1 $435K.
8 new listings: 9440 Cotten Ct 3/2 $650K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $689K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $795K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $895K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.12M, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 $1.195M, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 $1.299M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.45M.
3 price changes: 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $599K (our listing, pictured below), 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $599.9K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.375M.
6 new sales: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $449K (our listing, pictured below), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 listed at $639K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed at $665K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $995K (our buyer), 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.189M.
1 closed sale: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $509K.
3 new listings: 1872 Middle Gulf Dr $495K, 2299 Starfish Ln $549K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr $979K.
1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $394.9K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd $240K.
1 new listing: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.35M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $638K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $995K.
1 price change: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.1M.
1 new sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 listed at $995K.
No closed sales.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday! If you are thinking about wintering on Sanibel, please don’t delay buying or making reservations.
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan